Goshen runs out of gas; falls to Highland Home

Published 1:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Eagles Nest was anything but a dull place for more than three quarters of play between the Eagles and Highland Home’s Flying Squadron.

In fact, the Squadron’s 36-24 win over the Goshen – a do or die game for Highland Home – hardly represented the back-and-forth, fast-paced scoring.

“Our guys went out and fought real hard and they played a very good Highland Home team,” said head coach Bart Snyder. “Their whole season was looking at this game.”

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With the loss, the Eagles are in a tie for second place in Class 2A Region 2.

“We had really good play from Jerome Lawrence and Reginald Foster and Crawford Dean made key tackles,” Snyder said, “but it was a whole-team effort tonight.”

Lawrence, the senior quarterback was 6 for 11 for a total of 44 yards, but carried the ball eight times for 106 yards; Foster had 16 carries on the night for 156 – and broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

The Eagles rushing totaled 265 yards. The Squadron posted 238 yards on the ground, but mounted a 162-yard aerial attack.

Highland Home didn’t waste time putting points on the board, returning the kickoff 85 yards for six points but failing to convert for 2 points. It may have been the fuel the Eagles needed. Barely two minutes later, Brandon Alford stretched 75 yards for a touchdown. With a good point-after, the Eagles took the lead 7-6 with only 27 seconds having ticked off the official clock.

Mid way through the quarter, the Squadron answered with a 20-yard TD pass, but again failed to convert for two points, thanks to a punishing Alford stop. With just over a minute left in the first quarter, the Eagles regained the lead on 31-yard keeper by Lawrence.

Just nine seconds into the second quarter, the Squadron regrouped when senior running back Lewis Johnson scampered 51 yards into the end zone only to see the effort called back on an illegal procedure call. The Eagles eventually held Highland Home, taking over on their own 8-yard line. That’s when Foster decided it was time to break the 1,000-yard mark on what appeared to be a 92-yard run for a touchdown.

Foster actually stepped out of bounds at the 11, setting up a 21-yard Daniel Macias field goal with 8:03 left in the half, reclaiming the lead 17-12. It was a short-lived lead, about four minutes later; Kelley connected with senior receiver Raheem Berry on a 56-yard pass and stuck a 2-point conversion to take a three-point lead. They’d repeat the point posting once more before the half on a keeper by Kelley from the Goshen 3 yard-line.

The Eagles didn’t let that sap their energy and threatened on a first down-and-three situation at the Squadron’s 21. They’d be denied the first down, and the 38-yard field goal attempt by Macias was no good. The Squadron took a 10-point lead to the locker room.

With about 7-and-a-half minutes to play in the third, a 27-yard Lawrence keeper to the one set up an Eagle touchdown by Foster to pull the Eagles to within three points.

Highland Home would score again until nearly the same point in the fourth quarter, stretching their lead back to 10. A punt to the Goshen one, set up a safety sack of Lawrence to put 2 more points in the Squadron’s column and games final score.

The Eagles take on Zion Chapel next Friday night in a pivotal regional game that will settle the site for the first game of regional playoffs.